The field of public procurement in Estonia is regulated by the Public Procurement Act and supplemented with several regulations of the Government of Estonia. The Ministry of Finance is the responsible institution for public procurement policy, drafting the law, providing supervision and consulting.
Public Procurement notices are published on-line in the central Public Procurement Register which also hosts an innovative e-procurement environment for submitting tenders and awarding contracts.
Public procurement means making a purchase by the state or some (as a rule) public sector authority according to the rules (public procurement procedure) specified in the law.
Supplies, services or works are purchased as a public procurement. Rules for purchasing supplies, services or works are set out in the law in order to ensure fair, expedient and transparent use of the taxpayer’s money.
Rules of public procurement are based on the principle that undertakings from whom services, works or supplies are purchased according to specific criteria. These award criteria must be verifiable and understandable to everyone in the same way and a selection shall not be made according to personal connections, preferences or other subjective circumstances. All undertakings who wish to offer the requested supplies, services or works to the state must be given the opportunity to do so. This ensures the prerequisites for using the taxpayer’s money as effectively and expediently as possible.
Rules of public procurement are broadly divided into three degrees of complexity that depend on the amount of money required for the purchase. The larger the amount of money required for the purchase, the more regulated and complicated the rules of public procurement, i.e. making the purchase. While in case of smaller purchases, the public sector may grant the opportunity to submit a tender and thereby make a purchase only within Estonia, the state has to submit a notice of its purchase intent in case of larger purchases across Europe in TED.
Estonia is at the forefront of carrying out electronic public procurements. In 2017, the majority of our public procurements, i.e. 93%, were carried out as an electronic procedure. Information about the purchase intent and the course of the procedure of these purchases is available in only one place – in the Public Procurement Register.
Upon carrying out public procurement, the state can also promote the marketing of innovative products, support the environment through purchasing environmentally friendly products and also support the achievement of the state’s social objectives as necessary.
- 7854 public procurements were carried out in Estonia in 2018. The value of public procurement is a little over 2 billion euros which makes up 10,3% of GDP and 26,1% of the state budget.
- The share of public procurement procedures exceeding EU treshold in 2018 was 16%.
- Estonia is an exellent example in the European Union with its central Public Procurement Register that enables carrying out public procurements and participating in them electronically. The share of electronic procedures of all procurement procedures is 96%. Full transitioning to e-public procurement took place in October 22, 2018. See also "E-procurement is continuing its triumph".
- Average number of tenderers in electronic procedures is 3,6 and in not electronic procedures 1,9.
- The Ministry provides advice and carries out trainings in order to raise the awareness and improve the skills of contracting authorities and entities upon carrying out public procurement. In 2018, 2704 queries were responded and regular trainings on Public Procurement Act and Public Procurement Register are carried out.
- Simple procedures were carried out the most, but open procedures constitute the greatest monetary volume.
- 13% of tenderers who were awarded a contract are large enterprises and 87% are small and medium-sized enterprises.
- 248 review procedures were started in 2018.
- In 2018, the share of using economic advantageousness in procurements exceeding the international threshold was 36,5%.